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Home » King Gives Scotland’s Top Honour To Prince Edward

King Gives Scotland’s Top Honour To Prince Edward

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, A new image of Prince Edward has been released to mark his 60th birthday

King Charles has awarded his brother the Duke of Edinburgh the Order of the Thistle – Scotland’s highest royal honour.

The appointment comes into effect as Prince Edward celebrates his 60th birthday on Sunday.

The Order of the Thistle can only be bestowed by the King himself.

It currently recognises 16 knights as well as men and women who have held public office or have made a particular contribution to national life.

This year’s other new recipients of the order are anthropologist Professor Dame Sue Black, distinguished lawyer Baroness Helena Kennedy and Scotland’s first black professor Sir Geoff Palmer.

‘Huge privilege’

King Charles made Prince Edward the Duke of Edinburgh to mark his 59th birthday, almost two years after the death of his father Prince Philip, who previously held the title.

Speaking to gardening expert Alan Titchmarsh on ITV’s Love Your Weekend programme, the duke said it had been a “huge privilege” but carried “quite a lot of weight of expectation as well… there’s an awful lot of legacy that came with that title”.

He added: “It’s just the weirdest and strangest feeling. You walk into a room and, particularly still today, there are name places on a card and I still look around going ‘Yes, but where am I sitting?'”.

In newly-released images to mark his 60th birthday, the duke is pictured smiling with his three dogs – Labrador Teal, Cocker Spaniel Mole and Labrador puppy Teasel.

Image source, PA Media

Image caption, Prince Edward with his puppy Teasel

King James VII of Scotland (James II) established the Order of the Thistle in 1687, though it is possible it dates back further.

Prince William and Princess Anne are both in the order as are various members of the aristocracy and House of Lords.

St Giles Cathedral in Edinburgh, which hosts the Order of the Thistle service, says the honour is “traditionally given to Scots or people of Scots ancestry”.

The service sees knights take part in a procession to the chapel dressed in green velvet robes and white plumed hats.

The royal website says the honour is second only in precedence in England to the Order of the Garter.